Thursday, 01 June 2017 23:50

Mobile connectivity speeds top APAC, but global Internet speed rank still 50th Featured

Mobile connectivity speeds top APAC, but global Internet speed rank still 50th Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Australia continues to lead the Asia-Pacific region in mobile connectivity speeds at 15.7Mbps for the first quarter this year, an increase from 13.8 Mbps, but still languishes at 50th in the global rankings for average Internet connection speeds.

And the Q1 2017 State of the Internet Report’ from Akamai reveals that, while leading the APAC region, Australia’s average mobile connection speed paled in comparison to the highest peak mobile connection speed of 200Mbps recorded by Germany for the quarter.

Globally, average mobile speeds ranged from a high of 26Mbps in the United Kingdom to a low of 2.8Mbps in Venezuela.

Among the qualifying surveyed countries and regions, Akamai says 37 had an average mobile connection speed at or exceeding the 10Mbps broadband threshold — up from 30 in the previous quarter — while 70 achieved average speeds at or above the 4Mbps broadband level (up from 58).

Akamai says Australia's lead in APAC on mobile connectivity speeds is a positive outcome of ongoing investment in the wireless mobile network and the country's push for faster broadband has not slowed down, with Australia’s smartphone penetration one of the highest in the world at 84%, with 4G adoption at 77%.

"Our growing appetite for more data is shaping consumer purchasing behaviours and demand for better quality networks and larger mobile data plans. We’re continuing to use higher quality content, live media broadcasting on different platform, and Australia's average mobile connection speed of 15.7 Mbps, which leads the Asia-Pacific, is a positive outcome of ongoing investment in the wireless mobile network," says Vincent Low, chief media strategist and head of Media Product Marketing APJ at Akamai.

“Major mobile networks in Australia diligently retired many older mobile networks showing huge progress to support better mobile connection speed, compared to other Asia Pacific countries that have not or are unable to due to device fragmentation in their markets (e.g. 2G, Edge 2.5G).

“This year Telstra rolled out the world's first Gigabit LTE network in Sydney, offering download speeds of nearly 1Gbps and upload speeds of 150Mbps. This is competitive to what is being offered in many of the North Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong.”

And while Australia still sits at 50th in the rankings globally for average Internet connection speed, the Akamai report does show that the country’s average speed was up from 10.1Mbps last quarter to 11.1Mbps in Q1 2017 – with the average connection speed growing 26% since Q1 2016.

According to Akamai’s report on global average peak Internet connection speeds and broadband adoption, the global average speed was just 7.2Mbps — an increase of 15% year over year — but the average peak connection speed increased 28% year over year to 44.6Mbps in the first quarter this year.

And South Korea again had the highest average Internet connection speed globally at 28.6Mbps in the quarter, with the highest peak connection speed at 184.5Mbps recorded by Singapore.

“Increases in connection speeds and broadband penetration have helped enable the Internet to support levels of traffic that even just a few years ago would have been unimaginable,” says David Belson, editor of the State of the Internet Report.

“One need only look to January’s US Presidential inauguration, which broke traffic records for live coverage of a single news event delivered by Akamai, largely thanks to the combination of more viewers watching at increasingly higher levels of video quality.”

The report also revealed that global 4, 10, 15 and 25Mbps broadband adoption rates increased 13%, 29%, 33% and 42% year over year respectively and, in the first quarter of 2017, more than 814 million unique IPv4 addresses connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, a 0.7% increase compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Akamai says Belgium remained the clear global leader in IPv6 adoption, with 38% of its connections to Akamai occurring over IPv6, down 19% from the previous quarter.

On Internet disruptions globally, Akamai reports that:

  •     Traffic to Gabon on 18 and 19 February dropped to approximately 25% of normal levels due to an outage of unknown cause that affected eight of the country’s networks.
  •     The Iraqi government continued its practice of blocking Internet access to prevent cheating during national middle- and high-school exams, affecting traffic on several days in February.
  •     Due to a cut in a submarine cable providing connectivity to Madagascar, traffic to the country dropped suddenly and significantly on 25 January and did not recover to normal levels until nearly three weeks later.
  •     A submarine cable break also affected traffic to the Marshall Islands for more than three weeks during which Internet access was restricted to email only, with certain businesses allowed Web access on a rotating basis.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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